I was having dinner with a friend the other evening and he asked me a question I love:
“What’s the best way to put what I read into action?”
It’s a GREAT question and I get it A LOT here at The Art of Living. So here’s the same, simple, 7-step process I gave him to transform what he gets from his reading:
- Grab a pen and some paper;
- List any great self-improvement books you’ve read recently;
- List any daily habits that those books recommend;
- Review your list of habits and ask: “Which ONE of these habits, if I already did it every day, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?”
- Write your ONE habit at the top of a piece of a fresh piece of paper;
- Write the numbers 1 to 30 in a column under that habit;
- Do the habit every day for the next 30 days putting a tick or a cross next to each day to record if it happened or not.
DO NOT WORRY about the other habits on your long-list. The ONE habit you’ve just written down is your ONLY priority for the next 30 days.
As you keep reading – add any new habits you discover to your long-list of ideas. We’ll come back to those shortly.
If you’re struggling to make time for your habit (and assuming it’s not sleep related) change your routine so it’s the first thing you do every morning after you wake up.
This “anchors” the habit at the start of your day, when your energy is at a maximum and chaos is at a minimum, giving you the maximum chance possible of getting it done.
If you’re still not consistent on your new habit after the first 30 days, write the same habit at the top of a new sheet of paper and repeat the process for another 30 days (and another, and another…).
There’s only so many times you can write so many X’s on so many pieces of paper before you’ll automatically shame yourself into taking some action.
When you feel confident that you’re new habit’s a part of your operating system, feel free to move the habit to another part of your day. The slots before or after your mealtimes are great anchor points for new, fragile habits.
Now, write the next most-life-changing habit on your long-list at the top of a new sheet of paper (including any new ideas you’ve since added) and repeat.
That’s all there is to it.
No procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed. No complicated software. No big shifts in your day-to-day workload. No getting to the end of the year and realising you’ve put nothing from the 10 books you read into action.
Just a simple, bulletproof process for transforming your life by using what you learn from non-fiction to change ONE thing you do every day.
And if you want even more power? Go check out the habit tracking templates in TAoL’s TRACKTION Planner – the beautifully crafted, 232-page, 90-day planner I created precisely for taking control of your habits and doing more of what matters each day.
You can get yours here:
But you’ll have to act fast. Stocks are running out fast…